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March 2003

Congress Takes Up Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act

Photo taken at a February 13, 2003 press conference on Capitol Hill to announce the reintroduction of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. Congressman Steve Chabot (R-Oh.), the prime sponsor of the bill (left); NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson (speaking); and Congressman F. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wi.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee (right). NRLC photo by Patricia Coll

President Bush Urges Senate to Pass the Ban

House Passes NRLC-Backed Bill to Ban the Cloning of Human Embryos, But Many Senators Still Back Human Cloning for Biomedical Research

Pro-life President George W. Bush urges Senate to pass the bill to ban the cloning of human embryos.

WASHINGTON (March 7, 2003) -- The critical issue of banning the cloning of humans is back in the lap of the U.S. Senate.
On February 27, the House of Representatives passed the NRLC-backed Weldon-Stupak bill (H.R. 534) to ban the cloning of human embryos, 241-155, after first rejecting a substitute proposal that the White House said would allow cloned "human embryo farms."
The two votes were big wins for those opposed to human cloning, which includes President Bush, NRLC, and other groups from across the political spectrum.
President Bush commended the House's action, and urged the Senate to approve the ban as well.
"Like most Americans, I believe human cloning is deeply troubling, and I strongly support efforts by Congress to ban all human cloning," Bush said in a written statement. "We must advance the promise and cause of medical science, including through ethical stem cell research, yet we must do so in ways that respect human dignity and help build a culture of life. I urge the Senate to act quickly on legislation banning all human cloning."

Help Combat "Media Myths" on Human Cloning Bills!

Recent Developments on Partial-Birth Abortion

Responding to President Bush's Call to Ban "Abhorrent Procedure," Congress Takes Up Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act

This illustration is part of a series that accurately depicts a partial-birth abortion being performed on a partly delivered baby of 24 weeks gestational age. The complete series is found on page 16. Artwork by Tanja Butler, courtesy of Heathers Place, 505-521-0105,

WASHINGTON (March 7, 2003) - - The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act - - a major pro-life federal legislative priority since 1995 - - is slated for congressional action in the immediate future. There is fierce resistance to the bill among lawmakers closely allied with the abortion lobby, and its enactment is far from guaranteed - - but pro-life forces are guardedly optimistic of success because of strong support for the legislation by President Bush.
The Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Steve Chabot (R-Oh.), chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, as H.R. 760, which currently has 153 sponsors and cosponsors. The same bill has been introduced in the Senate by Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, as S. 3, which currently has 44 sponsors and cosponsors.
Senate Republican leaders listed the bill as one of their "Top Ten" priority measures, and the Senate may take up the bill as early as the week of March 10.


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From the President

Wanda Franz, Ph.D.


Recently, newspapers carried the following exchange between a reader and a widely-read medical advice columnist, Dr. X (his real name is not important here, and a wave of letters reprimanding him would be counterproductive):

DEAR DR. X: I am responding to your column about counseling for a woman who continued to feel guilty about an abortion she had 20 years ago. Planned Parenthood is not an appropriate resource. These people are probably the ones who convinced her to have an abortion in the first place! Your reader should probably more properly receive treatment from a church-supported pregnancy counseling center.

DEAR READER: From the tone of the letter to which I responded, I believed that anti-abortion counseling was not what the reader needed. So I referred her to a more eclectic resource.

Personally, I feel that adoption is preferable to abortion, but I support a woman's choice in the matter. And I agree with you (and other readers) that alternative organizations can certainly play a vital role in helping such people deal with the emotional upheaval of abortion. Such help is available through many community institutions.

Dr. X's response is typical of the well-meaning "mushy middle" in the age of "choice." I'm sure that Dr. X wants only the best for the people seeking advice from him. And I'm equally sure that Dr. X is a very competent physician. Yet when it comes to the topic of abortion, he appears to be pressured to conform to the foggy thinking that the culture of "choice" demands of the "enlightened" among us. The point here is not to berate Dr. X personally but to illustrate the intellectual and moral confusion that results from the uncritical acceptance of "choice."

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